Spanish exchange program prepares to travel again in 2022 and 2023


Provided by Andrea Pickersgill

The Spanish exchange program will welcome Spanish students to WA in September, and then travel to Spain in April of 2023.

James Farley, Co-Sports Editor

After having their trip to Spain canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, Westford Academy’s Spanish foreign exchange program is set to run again in 2022 and 2023.

The Spanish exchange program consists of two parts to the full experience. A group of Spanish students will first visit WA in September 2022, and then WA students will travel to Salamanca, Spain in April 2023. According to Spanish exchange program advisor Andrea Pickersgill, WA students will be prepared to live in Spain and properly host their Spanish partners as well, thanks to their exposure to the Spanish language throughout their high school careers.

“Students come from the school Colegio Amor de Dios (CAD) in Salamanca, Spain,” Pickersgill said. “They will visit WA in September, stay here for around two weeks, and then we will spend two weeks in Spain when we travel [in 2023].” 

Due to the pandemic, the exchange program is following the necessary guidelines for their trip to take place. A COVID vaccination is required and the organization has up until December 2022 to cancel its trip to Spain if necessary. Sophomore Jack Whitman is one of the members of the Spanish foreign exchange program, and he hopes that COVID does cancel their trip again.

Right now, we’re hoping nothing major gets worse with COVID,” Whitman said. “Because the interchange program is an amazing and unforgettable experience that I’m happy to be a part of.”

After missing out on the trip in 2022, WA participants in Spanish levels 3-5 get to travel again now that COVID cases are on the decline. While in Salamanca, participants will live with their host families for two weeks, and then vice versa when the members from Spain come to the United States. In the past, students have built strong relationships with their partners from the trip, and Pickersgill aims to continue this narrative in 2022 and 2023.

“Both the teachers and students who have participated have made wonderful new friends that we will hopefully keep for many years to come,” Pickersgill said.

The WA students have partaken in a plethora of activities when visiting Salamanca in past trips, and are planning to do the same when they return to Spain in 2023.

“Some memorable experiences include taking a guided bike ride through Madrid, learning to make paella and tortilla española from professional chefs in a cooking school, attending a Real Madrid soccer match in Bernabeu Stadium, and visiting an ancient castle in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains,” Pickersgill said. 

With the cautionary steps the Spanish exchange program has been taking, Whitman is thrilled for the once-in-a-lifetime Spanish exchange trip to take place once again.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing the culture, language, and food of another country, as going to Spain is much more immersive than learning about Spain in class,” Whitman said.